There's another film inside Roohi that wants to tell you so many things, so much more than you see on screen but is at loss of words.

There’s another film inside Roohi that wants to tell you so many things, so much more than you see on screen but is at loss of words.

As I entered the cinema hall – Delite in aruna asaf ali marg for the press screening of my Friend Hardik Mehta, who directed Kaamyaab which released somewhere around the same time last year I realised what I have been missing for a full year.

The last film I watched, at this very Theater, the legendary Delite was Irrfans last theatrical release English Medium. And the last studio recording of my Show Filmcity with Rahul Ahuja was with the Director of Roohi

It is surreal. Extremely!

Everything is different this time around in here. Theres no familiar smells and faces since all of us are protecting ourselves with masks, You can’t really smell the popcorns and butter as you enter the theatre anymore because of the mask. It was a completely different experience.

Roohi, produced by Maddock Films who produced Amar Kaushik’s Horror Comedy Stree is another comedy film from the stable, this time helmed by Hardik Mehta whose last Kaamyaab was an ode to cinema and it sort of shows in this film from the very beginning too that it is a film written by Film lovers Mrighdeep Singh Lamba and  Gautam Mehra as you immediately see the film starting with words from Rang De Basant – Which country? and Teen Guna Lagaan! (Lagaan) however as the film progresses from first act to second you start realising that their pen has started dwindling in this one.

Hardik who also plays the groom to Roohi in a quick cameo had every intention to make a film that could be as a good if not better than Stree that it will obviously be compared to, it being not just the same genre and all but as being lead by Rajkumar Rao’s Bhawra Pandey who is a Crime Reporter in a local rag media ‘Mushidabad Zalzala and part time subordinate to  his boss Guniya Shakil’s (Manav Vij) full time Kidnappers Pandit and Riyaz who Kidnap Girls for force marriages that are the town’s traditions without much care of the politics, rules and regulations because as they say, traditions outdo the rules! Obviously! Duh!

And then in the busy wedding season, Guniya has no option to rely on Bhawra and his right hand,  childhood friend Kattanni Qureshi played by Varun Sharma who is still playing his debut role from Fukrey in a new accent in this film too to kidnap a girl without his regulars, the girl this time is Roohi the titular character played by Janhvi Kapoor. What happens next is a Ghost story, A love Triangle with involves 3 bodies and 4 souls! Kattanni in love with Afza the Mudiya Pairi Chudail and Bhawra in love with Roohi, who hosts the witch in her body.

The Jump scares start early but don’t last because they become extremely obvious and dated almost immediately and I feel going forward with this genre of comedy, the makers will try to scare the audience, and if they don’t get scared they will definitely laugh or that’s what they can hope for.

The chemistry between Varun & Rajkumar is amazing, you are involved in their conversations. It’s one gag after another and that keeps you thoroughly entertained. Janhvi has limited space to perform between these two and prosthetic covered body! I felt that the film gave too much hope with it’s cast  and National Award winning Director (Amdabad Ma Famous) but becomes repetitive very fast, especially after the interval.

The one scene that had me hoping more so was a hand to hand fight scene between the loser friends Bhawra and Kattanni, the moment it happened I immediately thought of a similar scene between Matt Damon and Christian Bale in the super hit hollywood flick Ford Vs Ferrari and I was ready for a similar laugh out loud fight scene but it ends abruptly and seems half hearted, unable to make the audience laugh.

The music department (Sachin-Jigar, Ketan Sodha) have tried something new and different, some may say it falls short but I enjoyed the experiment. Also, thank god that Nadio Paar is not in the film because it wouldn’t have made any sense even as the end titles rolled.

Cinematography is good and Editing is passable if you don’t mind the length.

The film’s disappointment is in the lack of newness, the narrative with a lot of lose ends and the burden of our own hope to see something so magical when we return to the big screen that this extremely interesting setting flickers like a tube light that has the full intention to shine as bring as possible to bring light in the darkness but manages to only give us enough time to find a replacement.

So until the next best thing arrives in cinemas, watch this one with caution eitherway.

I give this film 3/5